Everyday Values


Barclays (Photo credit: bbodien)

The world of work seems to be changing rapidly and in unpredictable ways.  Well established names such as Comet, HMV and Jessops can go into administration because they cannot keep pace with market changes.

Perhaps then these days, more than ever, it is important for individuals and organisations to know how to adapt to changing conditions.

Holding on to a set of core values and beliefs may help.  As long as it is clear what their core values are everything should be okay.  Shouldn’t it?

The new mood at Barclays, ushered in by their new chief executive, Antony Jenkins, made me wonder about this.  According to BBC News coverage Mr Jenkins has been very upfront about the Bank’s purpose values under his leadership.  He has said these are:

–       Respect

–       Integrity

–       Service

–       Excellence

–       Stewardship

Not a revolutionary set of messages to live by, but arguably different to the old regime where, apparently pockets of bad practice – like Libor manipulation – could fester without those in the know sending up distress flares to senior colleagues.

Equally there were question marks about the extent of the problem in the sector and senior managers weren’t too curious to find out if the Bank was the exception to the rule.

There’s more.  Unlike his predecessor, Bob Diamond, is actively concerned that the Bank’s staff adopt the corporate values as their own.


Mr Jenkins has also said:

‘There might be some of you who don’t feel they can fully buy in to an approach which so squarely links performance to the upholding of our values…My message to those people is simple: Barclays is not the place for you. The rules have changed. You won’t feel comfortable at Barclays and, to be frank, we won’t feel comfortable with you as colleagues’.

Ouch.  That is a pretty hard message about the values that will now prevail.  I wonder how many ‘Sorry you are leaving’ cards will be doing the rounds this year?  There might be a few I think, as people realise their values and the new corporate values of their employer, are out of step.

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